By Eleonor Baldo-Soriano
Tebtebba conducted a global Trainors' Training (TOT) for the Training Course on Climate Change, REDD+, and Indigenous Peoples from January 8 to 10, 2010 at the Ridgewood Residence, Baguio City, Philippines. The TOT was attended by project partners from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Representatives from some indigenous organizations in the Philippines were also invited to participate.
This TOT is part of Tebtebba's NORAD funded project: “Ensuring the Effective Participation of Indigenous Peoples in Global and National REDD+ Processes.” Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) - the policy that provides positive incentives to developing countries to slow down their rates of deforestation and forest degradation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; and positive incentives for conservation, enhancement of forest stocks, and sustainable management of forests - has become even more likely to be implemented as a mitigation option with the conclusion of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009.
The primary goal of the TOT was to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the participants on training management toward the effective implementation of the training course. Specifically, at the end of the TOT, the participants were expected to assess the status of indigenous peoples’ advocacy on climate change focusing on the gains and ways forward after the Copenhagen meeting; to further improve the existing training modules; to improve skills in designing, implementing and evaluating a training; to gain insights and tips on how to improve facilitation skills; and, finally, to be able to plan immediate actions for national or sub national training activities.
To kick off the TOT, an orientation and dinner was conducted on the night of January 7. Ms. Victoria Tauli–Corpuz, Executive Director of Tebtebba and Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, welcomed the participants who were mostly first-time visitors to the mountain city of Baguio, originally home to the Ibaloi indigenous peoples of Benguet. A total of eight participating countries, including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, Vietnam, and the Philippines, were acknowledged during this orientation.
For the next three days, various activities were conducted in line with the objectives set and expectations expressed by the participants. On January 8, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz presented an “Assessment of COP 15 in Copenhagen: Gains and Ways Forward.” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz shared that the climate talks in Copenhagen was frustrating and dismal and there was still a need to strengthen unities between developing countries. Indigenous peoples who were present in Copenhagen did their best to influence the negotiations. They were able to introduce texts, with the support of governments, on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), their effective participation and recognition of their traditional knowledge and practices. But the bigger challenge was how to continue the work for this year in preparation for COP 16 in Mexico this 2010.
Also, the greater challenge is how to do the work locally. How can a model be developed for low carbon/no carbon economy without impinging on survival, especially in the context of developing countries? This challenge gives the reason on why we are continuing what we are doing now. At the community level, strategies to manage tools, such as the UNDRIP, need to be devised so that indigenous cultures and communities can continue to exist. She reiterated that our task is to continue strengthening our communities; and as trainors, their role is to provide information and knowledge for indigenous peoples to arrive at informed decisions.
In the afternoon, an optional buzz session on the Social Dimensions of Climate Change was conducted to respond to the need of those who are still starting in the field of climate change. Concepts on mitigation, adaptation, vulnerability, resilience, and others were discussed.
The second day was spent on the skills for facilitation. It was very interesting and dynamic as pre-selected participants tested the activities and methodology presented in the training manual. This also allowed for a deeper look into the content of the module on REDD+. It also served the purpose of diagnosing and evaluating the facilitation skills of the participants.
After impressive presentations by Vu Thi Hien (CERDA, Vietnam), Pasang Sherpa (NEFIN, Nepal), Stanley Kimaren Ole Riamit (MPIDO, Kenya) and Mrinal Kanti Tripura (Maleya, Bangladesh), Dean Raymundo Rovillos, the main facilitator, delivered a lecture/discussion on basic skills and facilitation. To cap the day, Ms. Grace Balawag of Tebtebba's Climate Change Team, gave a presentation on the on the Ecosystems Approach.
On January 10, the participants tackled skills on how best to present ideas. This was important, recognizing that many of the participants will not only be dealing with grassroot activities but with technocrats and academicians at the regional and national levels, as well. The focus was how best to maximize the use of the PowerPoint; and just like the day before, participants were pre-selected to do demonstrations on how they would present their ideas. Dean Rovillos demonstrated and lectured on “Guidelines on Oral Presentation and Tips on Designing a PowerPoint Presentation.” Jeannette Aboah (AGEFO-BAKA, Cameroon) was effective in expressing her thoughts and knowledge on the domestication of forest plants as a means of adaptation to climate change. Allan Delideli (SILDAP, Philippines) provided a notable PowerPoint presentation on food security. A lively critiquing session followed.
In the afternoon, the participants engaged in a planning session, also providing recommendations and suggestions to effectively conduct the training in view of their national and local contexts. Among the activities suggested include: further support on popularization techniques for education materials; linking with the academe to possibly include climate change and REDD+ within the curriculum; coming up with mechanisms for exchange and feedback; further training on negotiations; translation and localization of materials; dissemination; and more discussions on REDD+ especially on the national level.
The participants also shared their most significant learnings before the TOT ended. All were thankful of the opportunity to participate. A number of participants, including Hien, Senjuti Khisa (Maleya, Bangladesh), Khim Prasad Ghale (ANIJ, Nepal), Maribeth Bugtong (Tebtebba, Philippines), Eric Salankat Sonkoi (LDF, Kenya), Allan, Arifin Monang Saleh (AMAN, Indonesia), Rizal Mahfud (AMAN, Indonesia), Eusebio Ivan Barrow (CADPI, Nicaragua), and Waldo Muller Lacayo (UCOTTAP, Nicaragua) shared that what they learned from the training has given them confidence and motivation on how to develop their own training plans, implement a training in the community, and be able to multiply themselves, committing to share their enhanced knowledge on Climate Change and REDD+ .
Ibrahim Njobdi (Lelewal, Cameroon), Stanley, Samuel Anongos (CPA, Philippines), Imelda Tabiando (CDPC, Philippines), Pasang, Luzmila Isabel Sosa Sanchez (CHIRAPAQ, Peru), Mrinal, and Luong Thi Truong (CSDM, Vietnam) appreciated how participation in the training has enriched their knowledge and skills on facilitation.
Krissusandri Gunui (Institut Dayakologi, Indonesia), Rogeleth Amon (CEC, Philippines) and Ronie Balong (SILDAP, Philippines) recognized the necessity to continue understanding the issues and to do further work in the communities.
Jeanette appreciated how the ice breakers and the friendly atmosphere allowed her to be involved even with the language barrier. Otis Plazaola (CADPI, Nicaragua), on the other hand, expressed gratitude for what is one of the key elements that allowed the TOT to finish successfully - that participants shared their knowledge.
The 3-day TOT was concluded with closing remarks from the facilitators and from Ms. Ellen Dictaan-Bang-oa of Tebtebba, who also acknowledged the great support that the Tebtebba staff has provided to make the TOT possible. She encouraged the participants to continue working as one, building stronger solidarity as indigenous peoples, especially in light of great challenges such as that posed by climate change.
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